Alarming failures left many in path of California wildfires vulnerable and without warning

The Sonoma ridgeline was a sunrise of flame as Sgt. Brandon Cutting led deputies up country roads to pound on doors, hollering “Sheriff’s Office!” Thirty minutes later, with Cutting huffing from exertion and choking in thick smoke, the evacuation of Redwood Hill was still playing out one door at a time. He followed the sound of shouts to an officer struggling to carry a disabled woman. Her house was on fire. Her shoe on the ground. The night around them was orange in every direction. It was 11 on a Sunday night, the beginning of what would be the most destructive fire siege in California history. Frantic rescues were taking place across wine country as heavy winds ripped down power lines and the dry hills lit up in flames. Modern technology in the form of robocalls and digital alerts would not join the fight to roust sleeping [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:47+00:00December 27th, 2017|0 Comments

California wildfires now larger than New York City and Boston combined

(CNN)One week after the Thomas Fire exploded from a brush fire to a raging inferno, hundreds of firefighters are still struggling to contain it. The blaze is larger than all of New York City and was only 15% contained as of Monday morning, according to the fire protection agency CAL FIRE.   At more than 230,000 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the Thomas Fire is now the fifth largest wildfire in modern California history. But it's only one of six major wildfires torching the state.   As the flames move on to new neighborhoods, some evacuated residents have returned to find no home standing.   David Karian used a hand rake to sift through the charred rubble of his elderly parents' home in Ventura.   "There's not much, but if there's a few things that will help them have some connection to the past, [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:51+00:00December 11th, 2017|0 Comments

After week of California fires, progress made in fighting flames

A week after several wildfires ignited in Northern California, firefighters are making progress toward containing the massive blazes that have killed at least 40 people and burned about 5,700 structures.   On Sunday, diminished winds gave firefighters a break in the weather to gain ground on the rash of fires that have scorched swaths of Northern California, including Sonoma and Napa counties. As California Gov. Jerry Brown said over the weekend: "We are not out of the woods yet, there's still fires burning." Officials voiced cautious optimism over the latest efforts. "Overall, things are feeling optimistic for us," said Bret Gouvea, deputy chief of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), during a Sunday briefing. "We're very cautious about that. As you know, we have a lot of fires across Sonoma County." More than a dozen fires are burning in California -- most of which [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:59+00:00October 16th, 2017|0 Comments

California fires: 31 killed; weather stays dry

(CNN)The misery and heartbreak caused by the one of the deadliest wildfire outbreaks in California's history aren't going to end anytime soon, officials said Thursday. "We're not even close to being out of this emergency," Mark Ghilarducci, the director of California's Office of Emergency Services, said Thursday afternoon. The fires that are devastating Northern California have killed 31 people, according to Cal Fire, making it one of the deadliest series of fires ever in the state. The largest of the group of 21 fires are still burning with little containment, and the weather has not helped the thousands of firefighters battling those deadly blazes and new ones that pop up each day. "We are a long way from being done with this catastrophe," Cal Fire Director Ken Pimlott said. The fires were burning erratically Thursday, he said. Authorities were concerned about new Red Flag warnings that [...]

2018-11-04T10:13:59+00:00October 13th, 2017|0 Comments